Friday, May 31, 2013

OneRunForBoston...we are in! (and a 10kRR)

Ryan and I signed up for a 10-mile leg each in the-middle-of-nowhere New Mexico on the night of June 12. Excited to be part of such a cool huge thing.  Legs 71 and 72.  Woohoo!  There are still legs available so sign up if there is one near you and be part of this:

I ran a 10k last weekend at the big Riverfest that happens every Memorial Day here.  I ran it last year too.  I took 10 days off after the Shiprock Marathon and then had 10 days to prepare for the race. I did one speed-ish workout and then one long-ish run (8 miles) at a moderate pace.  Felt good during the race...more pop in the legs than I expected as the previous 10 days of running felt slow and exhausting and very-post-marathon. Ended up negative splitting the race (is this my new thing???? I did it in the marathon too!).  Managed 2nd place woman overall.  Won my age group. AND dropped 1:20 off my best time from last year.  Wooohoooo!.  45:03 chip time.  GarminGirl said 7:15 average.  
7:30 (90 foot elevation rise)
6:55 (nice)
1:34 for the last .2

Very encouraging.  

I put in for the lottery to NYC.  So did Ry.  We both got rejected. Lame. the hunt for the fall marathon begins.  We have to be able to drive there (to bring DearDog). We are thinking Santa Clarita, California.  Looks lovely.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Shiprock Marathon RR

I planned to run smart. To hold back for the first 10 miles to save some for the end so I could negative split. That's what everyone says makes a great race....and every world record marathon has been a negative split so I figure most PRs happen that way too.  So I planned to chill for 10. Then be right on pace for 11-18, then see what I had left for the last 8.

Things started out great. I was holding back...kept going too fast and slowing myself down.  Rolling hills. Amazing scenery of the high desert right on the edge of the Arizona and New Mexico border running east into New Mexico. When it was time to step up the pace, I was on a hill....a 1.5 mile long hill....not ideal. So I   cruised...thinking I'd pick it up on the downhill afterward, which I did.  Then another hill...slower again.  I was enjoying the race. I wasn't calculating time. I was running across my beautiful New Mexico desert and was comfortable. Finally at 14 the uphills were over for a bit and it was time to pick it up.  I began running into very very slow half-marathoners. We are talking 23 minute per mile pace walkers.  At 16 I passed a girl marathoner. I could see another female marathoner ahead.  I kept her in sight while working to stay on goal pace up another hill through mile 17.  At 18 I had reeled her in and passed her.  Did I mention the crosswind we had the first 20 miles...not headwind and not totally sidewind, but X wind just into the front corner of my right shoulder....for TWENTY miles.

At 20 we reached the intersecting highway where we would turn north. I saw my dad and nephew E.  Turned the corner and saw my nephew A and my mom holding big signs for me and screaming.  Then on the other side of the highway was nephew O on top of my sister's car holding a sign for me and my sister on the ground next to him.  So encouraging.  I forged ahead so happy after seeing my big cheering section.

Best cheerleader ever!!!!  Nephew O.

A great pic my sister snapped of me with giant Shiprock right behind me!

At 23 there was another hill. Ugh. Just as I crested the hill around mile 24 and began heading down, an older guy passed me and said "It's all done hill from here babe. Keep it up."  I loved that he called me babe at this moment...feeling like I had been hit by a truck, looking lovely I'm sure...all sweaty and sticky and snotty and covered in the fine dirt of Shiprock, NM.  He called me babe.  I ran and worked to stay with him.  The plan was for my nephew E to meet me at 25 to run the last mile with me.  He's 13 and this was his first year of track where he ran the mile, the 800 and the 400.  He could easily run me in at a 7:30 or better. I have never run the last mile of a marathon under 8 minutes even though my average pace for my last 2 races have been 8:01 and 7:55.  I just never had enough left in the I asked him to run with me because I knew he could help me through, and I knew it would give us a special bond.  I could see an aid station ahead and E's yellow shirt...he was ready and waiting. I smiled and held back tears. I was so happy to see him and know that it was almost over.  I believe that no matter how you run the first 20 miles that the last 6 miles of a marathon are just stupid hard and hurt really bad.  E was amazing. I told him to talk. That I couldn't. He said I looked great and was doing great.  He asked what our pace was so he could make sure he pulled me along fast enough. I could hear him breathing hard. The watch said 7:23. I was glad to know I had enough in me to make him have to work to run with me.  It felt like we were going 10:30s. It was like my legs were in perfect stride with his....we trotted along.  I asked him about the girl I had passed at 18...if he could see her behind us.  He could.  He said she was back there but he didn't think she could catch us.  I said that we couldn't let her. He warned me that when we turned off the highway towards the finish line that we were going to have to run through sand. Seriously. Sand. No kidding. At mile 25.7 of a marathon. Sand. They're moving a fence or something and doing construction so there is currently sand and then REALLY REALLY rough asphalt.  Ok. Whatever.  25.7-26.2 hurts either way so why not run through sand and gravely asphalt?  He said "See that group ahead? Let's get them."  And we did.  It was so amazing.  At 26, he said "I'm dropping out. You got this." He yelled and yelled for me all the way to the finish. I could hear my mom and dad and sister and other nephews yelling too.  I crossed the line and there was E to give me a huge hug. I thanked him so much for bringing me in.  It was so fantastic to have him there...stride for stride. I got my medal and some water. Then chocolate milk.  Then more water. Then I sat, and then walked and then sat and then walked. That 30 minutes is kind of a crap-show of pain and undecided behavior cause nothing feels good.

Finish time was 3:28 and change.  I was 3:28 in Arizona in I knew I had basically matched my PR.

Awards began.
In the middle of awards, my friend K finished her FIRST marathon in 4:24.  She battled stomach issues and had 4 or 5 portapotty stops along the way but her splits were great for a first marathon and with the stomach cooperating I imagine her next one will be great.
I got my award for 1st in my age group (out of 19).
And I got 2nd overall for women. (out of 75).

Wordquota's family wasn't coming to the finish, or to the race.  Neither were any of her other friends.  I knew it'd be a while to wait but K and I decided we should.  K signed up for a massage and I ate some more and went to move the car and get my phone to check Endomondo to see where Wordquota was on the course.  She was at mile 23. We knew we could wait for that.  So when we saw she was reaching 25.5, I went out on the course at the end of the lovely sand portion and K waited at the finish line to scream her in.  And scream we did. I yelled and hollered and jumped and she cried when she saw me.  We hugged and I jogged with her for a hundred yards or so then dropped off to cheer her in. She finished strong and happy. Then we posed for a picture, got some food and headed home.

Got home. Checked out my splits and even though my overall race time was just equal to my personal best, I negative split and ran smart.  I'm proud of that.

Went out for french fries and a root beer float (I wanted salty and sweet).

Nephews E and A had run the kids 1 mile race during my race and got medals. So proud!
E is in the yellow (who ran me in).  A is in blue.  Great kiddos!

Now for rest and relaxation!  
Thank you to the Loop for all the great support and encouragement through this training cycle!  I look forward to all your race reviews and bloops.